Attorney General Musa Mwenye has clarified that the decision by Cabinet to uphold the provisions of Article 38(2) of the constitution which allow the vice president to act as president whenever the office of president becomes vacant was informed by the fact that, although Justice Minister Edgar Lungu was acting President at the time of the death of President Michael Sata,there is no provision in the constitution that automatically empowered him to continue acting as President.
Mr Mwenye in a statement made available to QFM News says the constitution only makes provision for the Vice President or if the Vice President is unable to act as President by reason of mental or physical illness, then a member of Cabinet elected by Cabinet.
The Attorney General has reminded the nation that when late President Levy Mwanawasa died, then Defence Minister George Mpombo was acting President, and that after death of President Mwanawasa, President Rupiah Banda who was then Vice President had to assume office in accordance with Article 38(2) despite Mr Mpombo having been acting President at the time of the death of the President.
He adds that the constitution does not place any other qualification for the Vice President to Act as care taker President, other than, that he should be Vice President.
Mr Mwenye further states that if Dr Scott was unable to Act because of absence or mental or physical illness,then, Cabinet would have had to elect a person from among its members to Act.
Mr Mwenye says as Chief Legal Advisor to government, he can confirm that all members of Cabinet acted with utmost patriotism, which should be a source of pride at this most difficult and sad time.